TAPIF stands for Teaching Assistant Program in France, which is a government-run scheme that places foreign nationals into the public school system to work as teaching assistants alongside a local teacher. This is a popular choice for people who want to teach English in France as it can often be difficult for non-EU citizens to secure a work visa by other means. If you meet the criteria needed to qualify for the program, it could be just what you need to get your dream of living and working in France off the ground.
What do I need to apply for the TAPIF Program?
To be eligible for the TAPIF Program you will need to be between 20 and 35 years of age. If you make it onto the program you will be required to work around 12 hours each week in up to three different elementary or secondary schools. The length of each contract is from October 1st to April 30th. Although you are able to request where you would prefer to be based on the application, you could end up being placed almost anywhere across the country. The vast majority of positions are spread throughout mainland France, while a small number are also available in overseas regions such as French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion. Successful applicants will receive a work visa for the length of the assignment, plus health insurance and a monthly stipend of 790 euro. Unfortunately, the program is very popular, which means there is no guarantee that you will be given a placement. Each applicant’s suitability for the program is evaluated using the following criteria:
- French language skills (a level equivalent to B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is required)
- Level of university education
- Previous teaching experience
- Experience working with children
- Experience living abroad
- TEFL qualification (not compulsory but highly beneficial)
How does the application process for the TAPIF Program work?
The best place to start is the official TAPIF Program website where you will find all the current requirements and application schedule. As well as the requirements listed above, every applicant has to submit the following with their application:
- 500 word 'statement of purpose' in French
- Scan of valid passport
- Scan of university transcripts
- Language evaluation from university French professor
- Letter of recommendation from academic or professional
- $60 US application fee
Is a TEFL certificate required to apply for the TAPIF Program?
Although a TEFL certificate is not an official requirement for joining the TAPIF Program, being able to add one to your program application can be a real bonus as the competition for each position is always high. By showing that you have completed an internationally certified teaching qualification, your chances of being accepted will be increased significantly. Completing a TEFL course will also give you a solid understanding of all the knowledge and skills you will need when stepping into a classroom in a foreign country for the very first time.